The newly-announced Xperia ZL is the first smartphone from Sony with an IR (infrared) remote control. With it, you can use your smartphone to control entertainment devices that use IR, including the TV, DVD player, satellite box, and more! And if this triggers any innovative use case ideas for you as a developer, you can actually create IR remote sensor-enabled apps by using the Sony Tablet SDK Add-on! Because this feature is so new, the potential use-cases are only limited to your imagination. Read further to learn more about the IR remote sensor functionality.
One of the unique functionalities of the Sony Tablet S and Xperia Tablet S is the infrared remote control app. But you’ll also find the IR remote app (and Remote Small App) in the new Xperia ZL. As with the Sony tablets, the Xperia™ ZL can transmit IR commands to control your entertainment devices. Prior to Xperia™ ZL, the only way a smartphone could act as a universal remote was by using an IR dongle or other piece of external hardware. With a built-in IR remote transmitter, you’ll have a truly innovative feature that is unique to smartphones and gives the user an even more immersive entertainment experience.
Why not be one of the first to develop and get your IR remote sensor-related mobile app on the market? For example, you could develop an app that could switch the channels on TV, based on user-specified genres (sitcoms) or interests (sports).
How the IR remote sensor works
The functionality of the IR remote sensor in Xperia™ ZL is exactly the same as for Sony tablets, and relies on an IR remote API embedded on the IR Remote Control app. You’ll find more information on the IR remote sensor on the IR Remote overview section on Developer World. If you plan on developing an app that uses the Xperia™ ZL’s IR remote sensor, the app will need to access the IR remote API, and the app will have the same access as the Remote Control app on the phone, without the need for low level communication with the infrared element.
Start developing IR remote sensor-enabled apps
To start developing your own app for the IR remote sensor, first download the Sony Add-on SDK, an add-on to the Android SDK. This package gives you access to the API to create apps that make use of the IR remote sensor functionality, along with a code example and documentation. Installation instructions can be found on the Sony add-on SDK install page. Then, download the IR remote code example and documentation from the IR remote overview page.